Death and Resurrection
Life is commonly difficult, especially for those who choose a life of hardship and adventurous excitement. The cycle of life is never ending and continues its birth, life, death cycle for everyone. With divine aid and assistance, however, at times it can extend this cycle greatly, even halting it for a time. Death is different among nearly all game settings. Please read this with the understanding that it may not fit your particular game setting and style, but is an alternative.
Weapons or equipment that is heavily relied on can be "named". Then the equipment begins to gain abilities beyond those of normal equipment. They might siphon off some of the experiances of their owners (1 to 5%) and level up on thier own. Could be an unintenitional way of creating artifacts. Ships could become sturdier or seem to just barely outrun the worse of a storm that would have surely sunk another vessle, swords could fumble less or resist dulling more, a farmers plow could turn stones aside easier. Anything that is depended on as much as an inividual can depend on as much as another individual could be "named".